Almost everyone has heard of the importance of Fish Oil or Omega 3’s (but there seems to be confusion about Omega 3/6/9) and their impact on health. Omega 3 supplementation is appearing in everything from power/recovery bars to orange juice. Claims of Omega 3’s ability to prevent disease and decrease inflammation abound in the popular media and health suggestions from friends and family.
Now in simplified terms Omega 6 promotes inflammation and Omega 3 counteracts or decreases it. Omega 6 and the inflammatory pathway are necessary, this is part of our healing process and tissue repair, the problem is more the amount, or more precisely the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 in our diet, and therefore the propensity to be promoting inflammation via our diet. Most of us are eating foods loaded with Omega 6, in particular grains and seed oils.
Grains and seed oils encompass wheat and wheat products, the other grains like corn and rice and then the often over looked margarins, canola oil, sunflower oil that so many things are cooked in. These high Omega 6 load products shift our ideal Omega 3:6 ratio from the 1:1 or 1:2 ratio to ratios as high as 1:10 or even 1:20! If you were putting 10X too much lime on your lawn in the spring you wouldn’t be shocked if the grass was burned. We should be shocked that health issues are being created by our nutrition if our anti to pro-inflammatory ratio in the diet is off by 10 fold!
We have 3 simple options.
Increase our Omega 3 intake: eat more fish, or take Omega 3 supplement.
Decrease amount of Omega 6 consumed: decrease or eliminate grains and seed oils.
Cut-back Omega 6 and get some more Omega 3.
Give it a try and see how you Look, Feel and Perform.